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Sexton and Cliftons Abortion Views

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February,2006

Ms. B. White

English 193

Short Reaction (Poetry)

These poems both take a different approach in discussing the topic of abortion. In Clifton's "the lost baby poem" the author takes a subtle approach to the topic. Anne Sexton's "The Abortion" is very in your face. Even though both poets have a negative view on abortions, Anne Sexton has no problem in clearly expressing he extremely negative opinion on this controversial topic.

Lucille Clifton's "the lost baby poem" depicts the lifestyle that the aborted child would have endured if it had been conceived. The mother of the baby is not only thinking about the hardships the child would have faced, but she is also describing how she feels about having the abortion. She states that she "watched the baby slip like ice into strangers' hands" (line 11). This means that she watched strangers kill her baby. With this being said, there is a strong possibility that the narrator of the poem has had an illegal abortion.

Anne Sexton's "The Abortion" is a little more blunt than the previous poem. It is quite obvious that the author has strong, negative feelings regarding the act of abortion. "Somebody who should have been born is gone" (line 1-2), this signifies that the narrator is having second doubts as she prepares to have the abortion. The narrator describes the morning that she has the day after the abortion as if she were seeing these things for the first time. She also goes on to the thought that an unborn baby that should have been born, is gone and is not able to view the beauty of nature. The author is giving the narrator a guilty conscience for taking part in the abortion the day before with the constant reminder of "somebody who should have been born is gone".

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